Radial Arm Saw Virtues #2: RAS gathering ideas

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Blog entry by Bob Kollman posted 09-05-2011 10:46 AM 3380 reads 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: RAS Part 1 Part 2 of Radial Arm Saw Virtues series no next part

About a month ago I started this blog to learn more about the RAS. I’ve learned a lot with the input from my fellow LJ’s. For the last month the RAS has been in moth balls waiting for the arrival of a new table top and blade guard assembly that I ordered VIA a recall Thur the manufacture.
The guard and table kit went together easily on the saw. Thur the Internet I was able to download all the original owner Manuals that went with this. I was able to square up the blade and cross sled with very little

There was and still is a bit of work to do getting the RAS ready for my shop. First was the issue of space. The RAS takes a little bit of space and because of the space issue my machine will only be used for cross cuts. I only have 4 foot clearance to the left or right of the saw. I thought at first I would only be using this for dado cuts
but after playing with the machine for awhile, I can see that I will be using it for more things than I thought.

Throughout the last month I was able to research my tool a little, and go over fellow LJ’s jigs and fixtures for the RAS,
I have collected a list of useful blogs from this web site. The one I liked best was a blog done 6 days ago by

Jim Bertelson, for RAS dust collection:
SEE Part 14 of Tips and Jigs for the Shop

David Patron, has built a great RAS table with fold down wings:

David Patron, has also built a great RAS Dado cutting Jig:

Lenny, has a great Fathers and Sons, Cupolas and Such blog using his RAS for a cupola build:
Click for details

So I am still progressing and looking at all the Great Ideas everyone has.

Please add any useful Jigs and hints for the RAS here. I’d like to see all there is out there!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

8 comments so far

View Lenny's profile


1593 posts in 3522 days

#1 posted 09-05-2011 11:23 AM

Good morning Bob. As Freddie Prinze used to say on the sitcom, “Chico and the Man”: “Looking Good!” I had two small hiccups on my install of the retrofit. I know you don’t have a point of comparison but the metal brackets they sent don’t come close to the thickness and quality of the originals. When I went to install the front table, the predrilled holes did not line up quite right. I noticed that the metal bracket had deflected when I tightened the bolts. I ended up having to get a shim in there to get the holes aligned. The second thing is putting on the blade guard itself. It took more time than I thought it should to understand where to place it then apply the right amount of pressure and turn it to get the tab engaged. I guess now it will be second nature each time I need to remove and re-install it. Thanks for the plug on my cupola post. It really was nice to go back to the former workhorse of my shop for that project. Again, I suspect you will get years of great service from this versatile tool.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3336 days

#2 posted 09-05-2011 01:27 PM

glad to see you got the parts you needed

and thanks for linking my saw too

looking forward to the final
(is there such a beast)

no cross arm cutting

that dust collector from jim
is something i need to do too
the best i’ve seen


-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View MikeGo's profile


76 posts in 2498 days

#3 posted 09-05-2011 01:50 PM

I recived my recall parts two weeks ago, it`s not going to replace my DW718 but it loos great .

-- Mike, Marietta,ny

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3186 days

#4 posted 09-05-2011 03:46 PM

Hello Lenny, I had some issues with the holes not matching up. I also had to make my own pin head screw because the stores did not sell any. But over all it wasn’t to bad. I love father son stories so the cupola build has always been a favorite of mine!!!!

David, the no cross arm cutting is good advice, I played with the saw a bit ant got the feel for how the blade wants to drive forward, I am also left handed so that might be an urge to fight off in the future as I become
more accustomed to the tool. Also I really liked your dado cutting sled, that maybe something for me to make in the future. To many projects to finish, and no time to do them all!!!!

Mike I love my SCMS also!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4295 days

#5 posted 09-05-2011 05:14 PM

I’ve owned a PowerCraft RA saw from Wards for many years, & made a lot of things with it. A low voltage problem burned out the motor on it a few years ago, & boy did I ever miss it. I recently picked another one up on Craigslist.

I replaced my tabletop using a formica countertop, & it worked fine. I used the old top as a template for matching the holes.

This is the kitchen I built using this saw.
Click for details

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3668 days

#6 posted 09-05-2011 08:21 PM

Congrats, Bob on the RAS. I like use my DeWalt RAS so much that my Hitachi 10’’ Compound Miter Saw sees little use.

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3186 days

#7 posted 09-06-2011 07:37 AM

Charles, I like to rotate and use all my tools as much as I can. The good thing about having a table saw,
RAS, and SCMS, is that I can pick where ever I want to make a cut.

Dick & Barb, it is amazing how long these tools last, you really can get your dollars worth from the RAS.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View MikeGo's profile


76 posts in 2498 days

#8 posted 09-06-2011 01:52 PM

sorry for my loos, – looks great

-- Mike, Marietta,ny

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